Welcome to The Convoluted Menagerie.

The name comes thanks to a nurse who enjoyed crossword puzzles. This pastime gave her a fair knowledge of words that I didn’t know the meanings of and so never used.



We were once discussing a topic on which we refused to agree, and during the heated debate I explained the reasoning for why my belief to the contrary was the correct viewpoint, while her’s, in my opinion, was not. With my explanation finished she stared at me with look of stunned silence. Her mouth hung open wordlessly. She finally shook her head in utter disbelief and stated slowly. “You have such a convoluted way of thinking.” Google was still a decade from invention and I didn’t carry a dictionary in my pocket so that left me with no way of looking up the word convoluted to find out what it meant. I had to ask her.

“Twisted,” she explained.

Yes, my thought processes can often-times be twisted. I can start at point A and eventually get to point B, though never easily. My thoughts often stray, ponder, wander, explore and question so many other points along the way. It’s never a straight path when your thinking is convoluted.

But, I liked that word and so I started using it in future conversations with this nurse when ever I could.

Another day I heard her use the word menagerie, probably in reference to the place we both worked. Horses, goats, dogs, wild cats, moose, squirrels, mice and the rare, elusive wild baloney often roamed the area.

Star Trek

Star Trek

Menagerie was a word I was familiar with although I had no idea what it meant. In grade 5, during the 70’s, after school I would settle in front of the TV and watch, on one of the only two television stations we had, reruns of the original Star Trek series. I recall watching the episode entitled “The Menagerie, Part 1.” The next day the two part story would conclude, but for some reason I missed it.

The title stuck with me long after, even though I had no idea what it meant.

While in college during the 8o’s, years later, reruns of the original Star Trek would play Saturday afternoons on the single station the rabbit ears on the tiny TV in the student lounge would pick up. On one such Saturday, after brunch, I was pleased to again see the first episode of that two-parter, The Menagerie Part 1. I would have to make sure I was back the next week to finally view the conclusion. Unfortunately I had to be away on assignment that following Saturday and once more missed Part 2.

A decade after first learning of that word, I still had no clue to what a menagerie meant.

Luckily, I worked with a nurse who liked crosswords. And nearly twenty years after first hearing the word, menagerie, She explained what it meant when I asked; a collection, usually of wild creatures.

Menagerie  became another word I liked and so it too was used in conversations with this nurse wherever possible. One day I realized I could combine the both words in reference to a place of imagination in my mind, the Convoluted Menagerie.

Four years ago, in a not so brilliant flash of creativity, I created this blog and called it “210 Thoughts For 2010”. Eventually time moved beyond 2010 and I realized I was going to have more then 210 thoughts. I needed a new title for my blog. A title that would encapsulate my twisted collection of thoughts. Thoughts that often needed to be rounded up, wrestled into submission and tamed,  in order to be observed, examined and enjoyed by the reader. I needed a place to share this convoluted menagerie of my mind.

Now your standing in the midst of it.

Feel free to scale the fences, feed the creatures and poke the wild beasts.

(And yes, some time in the mid-90’s  I at last watched  The Menagerie Part 2, and it made absolutely no sense to me as I had long forgotten what Part 1 was all about. )

7 thoughts on “Brad’s Convoluted Menagarie – It’s a Zoo in There!

  1. Hi Brad! I enjoyed reading about the backstory to your blog’s title. It’s funny how life has its serendipitous moments and some things/words/ideas follows through life creating a uniting thread.
    Cheers! Best of luck in this new year!

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